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Tarot, the name for a deck of cards mainly used for fortune
telling, and for the game played using these cards. The origin of tarot cards is uncertain; they were perhaps introduced into Europe by Crusaders between 1095 and 1270, and are known to have been in use in Italy in the early 14th century. Although the game of tarot (also called
tarot) is still played in central Europe, the cards are now mainly used for
A full tarot deck consists of 78 cards: the minor arcana (56 suit cards) and the major arcana, also known as trumps (22 pictorial symbol cards). The minor arcana, somewhat like a deck of modern playing cards, consist of suits of wands (clubs), cups (hearts), swords (spades), and pentacles (diamonds). Each suit contains 14 cards: 4 court cards (king, queen, knight, and page) plus cards numbered from ace to ten. The major arcana consist of a fool (also called a madman) card and pictorial cards numbered from 1 to 21.
Many of the earliest tarot decks were designed by artists, such as German artist Albrecht
Dürer, who lived during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The pictures, representing such subjects as the sun, death, the devil, and a hanged man, symbolize natural forces and human virtues and vices.
Tarot card reading
Fortunes are told by interpreting the combinations formed as the cards are dealt out. Today, increasing numbers of people use tarot cards as a tool for self-exploration and personal growth.